Interior Color: Gray
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
Options: Leather Seats
Number of Doors: 4
Exterior Color: Maroon
Bakersfield, California, United States
1948 Dodge Coronet limousine conversion done at the factory. $19,500 OBO. Leather interior, custom paint job. Beautiful car.
We think this officially counts as a tradition. Every year going back to 2010, Mopar has rolled out a limited edition version of a popular product from the Chrysler Group portfolio. First it was the Mopar '10 Challenger, then the Mopar '11 Charger, then last year's Mopar '12 300, and this year it will be the Mopar '13 Dart, which will make its official world debut next week at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
Limited in number to just 500 units, the Mopar '13 Dart is no mere appearance package, though the demeanor of the Dart will be murdered out with a gloss black finish, gloss black 18-inch wheels, a set of Mopar blue stripes and a mean-looking Mopar ground effects kit. Likewise, the interior is touched up with leather seats (a blue one for the driver and black hides for the passengers), gloss black and black chrome trim, blue accent stitching, a sport pedal kit and other Mopar interior accessories.
Turning our attention back to the mechanical bits, the Mopar '13 Dart comes with the car's most powerful engine, a turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four (shared with Fiat 500 Abarth) that's paired with a manual transmission. Those big, black wheels get wrapped in low profile 225/40R18 performance tires, and keeping everything in check is an upgraded brake kit with slotted rotors. The steering has also been calibrated for performance, the suspension lowered seven millimeters, and the exhaust tuned for better engine breathing.
It's easy to play the "Would you rather have a New X or an Old Y with a bunch of upgrades?" game more often than we care to admit, but the crew at Car and Driver have taken bench racing to the next level with their latest video. In it, the magazine pits a brand-new 2014 SRT Viper against a highly modified 1997 Dodge Viper GTS. There are 16 years between the time this particular GTS rolled off the production line and when the new car bowed, but that doesn't mean the old snake's owners have been sitting on their hands.
Thanks to a spate of modifications, the GTS offers up a better power to weight ratio than the new machine, but is that enough to overcome the technological leap forward represented by the 2014 Viper? We won't spoil it for you. You'll just have to check out the full clip below for yourself.
Motorweek's decades of history on television make it the perfect medium to look back into the automotive past and see how things are different now. It recently added old road test videos to its YouTube channel of the Acura NSX and Toyota Supra, as well as the Ferrari F40. For one of its newest flashback clips, Motorweek has exhumed an affordable five-car challenge of 1986's premiere hot hatches.
By today's standards, this is an eclectic field that features fondly remembered classics like the Volkswagen GTI 16-valve and Acura Integra. However, it also throws in some nearly forgotten contenders like the Dodge Colt Turbo and Ford Escort GT. The angular Toyota Corolla FX16 GT-S rounds out the group.
It's fascinating to watch Motorweek run the quintet through the slalom, down the drag strip and on various roads. What's most striking in this clip is the difference in the definition of a performance car between then and now. With its 16-valve, 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the GTI is the burliest of the contenders with 123 horsepower, but it still takes 8.8 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour. By today's standards, that would make it a plain-jane economy car, and not even a particularly quick one.